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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Knowledge transfer and exchange

ANROWS host activities as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Knowledge translation resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


4AP.5

An exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to domestic and family violence and sexual assault

Project length
24 months

There has been increased recognition of the prevalence and impact of domestic and family violence and sexual assault (DFVSA) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


However, mainstream literature has largely failed to understand this within the context of historical and continued colonial and systemic violence, making the assumption that the factors associated with violence against women in non-Indigenous communities are the same as those in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the trauma of colonisation is left unresolved, resulting in an internalising and normalising of pain, shame, dysfunction and chaos, and this legacy is passed on to the next generations, resulting in intergenerational trauma.


This has led to awareness of the need for “trauma-informed care” and the establishment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs and initiatives. These programs view a person’s health and wellbeing from an understanding of the impact of trauma, taking into consideration what has “happened” to that person, rather than what is “wrong” with that person.

This project will map and analyse “what works” in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to DFVSA nationally.

The aim of this study is to create a better understanding of how healing programs deliver DFVSA outcomes, and how trauma-aware, healing-informed practice intersects with the theoretical frameworks driving practice by DFVSA services; and to offer valuable evidence to inform policy development. The project will be guided by a Knowledge Circle including members from peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing and DFVSA bodies.

The project will consist of a literature review, a national survey of healing programs that respond to DFVSA and 13 case studies that will each include yarning circles with service staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women including LGBTQA+ and intersex people and women with disability. In specified locations there will also be a yarning circle for men. Feedback will then be gathered from these healing programs and community members in an effort to explore:

  • programs, models and theoretical frameworks used
  • how trauma-informed practices are implemented
  • how trauma-informed practice intersects with the theoretical frameworks driving practice by DFVSA services
  • the strengths and challenges of the programs
  • implementation barriers and enablers
  • the outcomes and impacts of these programs
  • the goals and objectives of these programs, and quantifiable potential benefits
  • lessons learnt and future directions
  • principles of best practice
  • policy implications.

Research aim/s

The aim of this study is to create a better understanding of how healing programs deliver DFVSA outcomes, and how trauma-aware, healing-informed practice intersects with the theoretical frameworks driving practice by DFVSA services; and to offer valuable evidence to inform policy development. The project is guided by a Knowledge Circle including members from peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing and DFVSA bodies.

 

Methods

The project consists of a literature review, a national survey of healing programs that respond to DFVSA and 13 case studies that will each include yarning circles with service staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women including LGBTQA+ and intersex people and women with disability. In specified locations there will also be a yarning circle for men. Feedback will then be gathered from these healing programs and community members in an effort to explore:

  • programs, models and theoretical frameworks used
  • how trauma-informed practices are implemented
  • how trauma-informed practice intersects with the theoretical frameworks driving practice by DFVSA services
  • the strengths and challenges of the programs
  • implementation barriers and enablers
  • the outcomes and impacts of these programs
  • the goals and objectives of these programs, and quantifiable potential benefits
  • lessons learnt and future directions
  • principles of best practice
  • policy implications.

Significance

This project will provide new evidence and best practice principles regarding “what works” in healing services that respond to DFVSA, aiding the fine-tuning of existing programs and the development of new initiatives. This will inform policy by aiding the identification of what programs are required, where funds would be most effective, and how programs can adopt trauma-informed practice and healing principles. Most significantly this research project will provide much-needed data on the experiences and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ and intersex communities and those with disability, and will progress new thinking in terms of how programs and services can work with clients and community members in ways other than face-to-face contact.


Researchers

Project leads

Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Macquarie University

Madi Day, Macquarie University

Research team

Dr Tristan Kennedy, Macquarie University

Dr Marlene Longbottom, Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI)

Dr Hannah McGlade, Curtin University

Associate Professor John Gilroy, University of Sydney

Research partners

A Knowledge Circle will be established, comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts and leaders in the field, the Healing Foundation, representatives from LGBTQ and intersex communities, and the First Peoples Disability Network Australia, as well as other relevant stakeholders from peak bodies.


Downloads

RESEARCH REPORT

What works? Exploring the literature on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to family violence

Download
see also

WORD DOCUMENT

What works? Exploring the literature on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to family violence

Download

See also

Media release

Study to look at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to domestic, family and sexual violence

Find out more

Budget

$295,177 (excluding GST)

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